Monday, March 25, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

Music@Menlo 2019 Festival

Congratulations to Music@Menlo: in a season of 55 works, one was composed by a woman!

Considering that their season is arranged by decades, this is...unimaginative and shameful.

(By the way, your web site? There seems to be no way to find a list of the programs with all of the works on each, in chronological order. Stop being so clever and just give people a nice list. I'm lucky that I had a works list PDF so I could just count them, but I have no idea from it how the works are distributed by concert or who is playing them.)

Friday Photo

29 Avenue Rapp Detail
Paris, October, 2018

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Ojai, 2019: Barbara Hannigan, Music Director

The final Ojai schedule was published today. I have a big problem: this is opposite the annual Northern California jujitsu camp that I try to attend. The program below is astonishing.

June 6-9, 2019
Thomas W. Morris, Artistic Director
Barbara Hannigan, 2019 Music Director 

Thursday, June 6

1:00-4:30pm Ojai Presbyterian Church
Led by Ojai Talks Director Ara Guzelimian, these three insightful sessions explore various facets of music-making and ideas featuring Barbara Hannigan and members of EQ, an interview with Thomas W. Morris on his Ojai years, and with members of LUDWIG on their distinctive vision.

5:30-6:00pm Libbey Park Gazebo
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS/ The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies Part I

Steven Schick, percussion 

7:30-10:30pm Libbey Bowl
STRAVINSKY/ The Rake’s Progress  (fully-staged)                          
Equilibrium Artists: Aphrodite Patoulidou, soprano; Yannis Francois, bass; Elgan Llyr Thomas, tenor; Fleur Barron, mezzo-soprano; Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel, bass; James Way, tenor

Los Robles Master Chorale
Edo Frenkel, harpsichord
Linus Fellbom, director
Barbara Hannigan, conductor

Friday, June 7

8:00-9:00am Ojai Art Center
Donor Concert 

CLARA IANOTTA/ dead wasps in the jam-jar (iii)  US Premiere
TYSHAWN SOREY/ Everything Changes, Nothing Changes  West Coast Premiere

JACK Quartet           

11:00am-1:00pm Libbey Bowl 

Part I 11:00-11:45am
JOHN ZORN/ The Alchemist       
JOHN ZORN/ Hexentarot 
JOHN ZORN/ Ghosts 
JOHN ZORN/ The Aristos

JACK Quartet
Stephen Gosling, piano 

Part II 12:15-1:00pm
JOHN ZORN/ Ouroboros
JOHN ZORN/ The Unseen           
JOHN ZORN/ Necronomicon                                         
Jay Campbell, cello
Alexa Ciciretti, cello

2:00- 3:00pm  Ojai Presbyterian Church 
Zorn II (2016-2018) a film by Mathieu Amalric   

5:30-6:00pm Libbey Park Gazebo
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS/ The Mathematics of Resonant Bodies Part II
Steven Schick, percussion 

7:30-10:00pm  Libbey Bowl
Part I 7:30-8:30pm
DEBUSSY/ Et la lune descend sur le temple qui fut (from Images Book 1)
RAVEL/ Une barque sur l’ocean (from Miroirs)
MESSIAEN/ Un reflet dans le vent (from Preludes)                                                 
SCHOENBERG/ String Quartet No. 2  
Stephen Gosling, piano 
Barbara Hannigan, soprano
JACK Quartet

Part II 9:00 – 10:00pm 
DEBUSSY/ Syrinx                                                                        

SCHOENBERG/ Verklärte Nacht
VIVIER/ Lonely Child                                             
Aphrodite Patoulidou, soprano
Barbara Hannigan, conductor

10:15-11:30pm Ojai Art Center 
A late night of ballroom dancing with LUDWIG Ballroom Band and Bill Elliott, master of ceremonies
(donor event)          

Saturday, June 8

8:00-9:00am Zalk Theatre 
JAMES DILLON/ La Coupure      
Steven Schick, percussion
Ross Karre, William Brent, video and sound design

11:00am-1pm Libbey Bowl 

Part I 11:00-11:30am

Tribute to Oliver Knussen with music by Oliver Knussen
KNUSSEN/ Masks for flute with wind chimes
KNUSSEN/ Autumnal for violin and piano
KNUSSEN/ Sonja’s Lullaby
KNUSSEN/ Cantata
KNUSSEN/ Eccentric Melody for cello
KNUSSEN/ Ophelia’s Last Dance
KNUSSEN/ Study for Metamorphosis for solo bassoon
Stephen Gosling, piano

Jay Campbell, cello
Part II 12:00-1:00pm         
RACHMANINOFF/ The Isle of the Dead (arranged by Thomas Beijer)   
MARK-ANTHONY TURNAGE/ Twice Through the Heart                

Kate Howden, mezzo-soprano 

Edo Frenkel, conductor                             

2:00- 3:30pm  Ojai Presbyterian Church 

Music is Music – a film by Mathieu Amalric
C’est presque au bout du monde – a film by Mathieu Amalric
Taking Risks  - a documentary film by Accentus Music about Barbara Hannigan’s Equilibrium mentoring initiative  US Premiere

5:30-6:00pm Libbey Park Gazebo
JOHN LUTHER ADAMS/ The Mathematics of Resonant BodiePart III
Steven Schick, percussion 

7:30-10:15pm  Libbey Bowl 

Part I 7:30-8:00pm 
JOHN ZORN/ Jumalattaret                       

Barbara Hannigan, soprano
Stephen Gosling, piano 
Part II 8:15-9:00pm 
RITES OF PASSAGE: Folk songs from around the world 

Equilibrium Artists
Edo Frenkel, piano

Part II 9:30-10:15pm 
GRISEY/ Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil (Four Songs Crossing the Threshold)           
Barbara Hannigan, soprano
Steven Schick, conductor 
Sunday, June 9

8:00-9:00am Zalk Theatre 
CATHERINE LAMB/ String Quartet   US Premiere
JACK Quartet 

11:00am-1:15pm Libbey Bowl

Part I 11:00-11:45am

WALTON/ Façade: An Entertainment                                                              
Barbara Hannigan, speaker 

Part II 12:15-1:15pm         
TERRY RILEY/ In C           
Festival artists

4:30-6:30pm Libbey Bowl 
STRAVINSKY/ Pulcinella (complete)     
HAYDN/ Symphony No. 49 “La Passione”     
GERSHWIN/ Girl Crazy Suite (arranged by Bill Elliott)          
Kate Howden, mezzo-soprano 
James Way, tenor
Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel, bass
Barbara Hannigan, conductor and soprano

Monday, March 18, 2019


AND one more cast change that I missed:
March 11, 2019 Jean-François Lapointe will sing the Marquis de la Force in all upcoming performances of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, replacing Dwayne Croft. Canadian baritone Jean-François Lapointe makes his Met debut as Marquis de la Force, a role he has previously sung at Dutch National Opera. Recent performances include Hérode in Massenet’s Hérodiade and Rodrigo in Verdi’s Don Carlo at Marseilles Opera and Valentin in Gounod’s Faust and the title role of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. This season he sings Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Golaud in Debussy’s Pélleas et Mélisande at Opéra National du Rhin, and Thésée in Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.  
The cast for Dialogues des Carmélites includes Isabel Leonard as Blanche de la Force, Adrianne Pieczonka as Mme. Lidoine, Erin Morley as Constance, Karen Cargill as Mère Marie, Karita Mattila as Mme. de Croissy, and David Portillo as the Chevalier de la Force. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts. Performances of Dialogues des Carmélites are May 3, 8, and 11, 2019. The final performance will broadcast live to cinemas worldwide as a part of The Met: Live in HD.
Weirdly, while I don't particularly like this opera, I will be attending the HD performance anyway. (Well, the repeat.) That's one hell of a cast, and the production is a legendary John Dexter production from the 1970s that I've always wanted to see.

Met Cast Changes

The first is from last week!
March 14, 2019 Gregory Kunde will sing Samson in the March 16, 19, and 23 performances of Saint-Saëns’s Samson et Dalila, replacing Aleksandrs Antonenko, who is ill.
And jumping in, or maybe I mean off, a performance that is already under way as I publish this:

March 18, 2019 
Iulia Isaev will sing the title role in tonight’s performance of Puccini’s Tosca, replacing Jennifer Rowley, who is ill. Romanian soprano Iulia Isaev makes her Met debut in tonight’s performance of Tosca. Her performances include Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni at Vienna State Opera and Opéra du Rhin in Alsace; Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at Dutch National Opera and Deutsche Oper Berlin; and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin at Greek National Opera. She has sung many roles with Bucharest National Opera including Alice in Verdi’s Falstaff, Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Nedda in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, and Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello. This season she reprises Alice in Bucharest. The cast for Tosca includes Joseph Calleja as Cavaradossi, Wolfgang Koch as Scarpia, and Philip Cokorinos as Sacristan. Carlo Rizzi conducts. Performances of Tosca run through April 6, 2019. 

Mueum Mondays

Detail from "The Martyrdom of St. Denis"
Henri Bellechose
Louvre, Paris
February, 2019

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Farewell to Lila

Almost eight years ago, I ran a blog post that included the news that we'd gotten a new dog, just a few months after the death of Molly B., our first. The post included this photo of the new dog:

Lila the Werewolf, July, 2011

I'm very sad to report that Lila died on March 13. She was probably around 12, and she had been having increasing mobility problems and associated pain. We had taken her to our favorite vet a few weeks ago to ask about her condition; she was still moving reasonably well and absent other health problems, the vet thought she might live a couple more years. But, she said, that thickening on her left knee might be bone cancer, so we should keep an eye on it. 

By March 11th, she was having a big problem getting up stairs. She was falling a couple of times a day, and she was clearly fearful about this and in more pain, so we took her back to the vet on Wednesday. Favorite vet and another vet agreed that yes, it was probable she had bone cancer (the thickening was worse), it would spread rapidly, and she was not a good candidate for amputation, given her age and the serious arthritis in her other leg and back. We don't want our pets to suffer, so we sadly and regretfully said goodbye to her.

She was not the sharpest knife in the canine drawer (we've had a very very smart dog and she was...a handful), but Lila was one of the sweetest. She liked and got along with almost all dogs and she turned out to be fine with cats. (We did a LOT of training to make sure she knew how to behave with them.) She was kind to people and always very nice to be around, as well. She lost her hearing a couple of years ago, and as her arthritis worsened, she no longer wagged her amazing tail, which could clear tables easily when she was younger.

We miss her very much and we're sad she's not barking at squirrels and begging for orange slices, one of her favorite people foods. Despite behind in some pain, she was sweet and cuddly right to the end.

Lila, March 11, 2019
I was eating a tangerine and she wanted a slice, which she got.

Monday, March 04, 2019

Museum Mondays

Panel of the Sedano Family Triptych
Gérard David
Louvre,  Paris
February, 2019

Friday, March 01, 2019

Organizational Differences

San Francisco Opera Timeline:

May 16, 2016: Official announcement that Nicola Luisotti is leaving at the end of 2017-18 season
October, 2017: His last performance as MD
July, 2018:        His contract expires
December, 2018: We have no idea who is replacing him
January, 2019:  A second season is announced with all guest conductors

San Francisco Symphony Timeline:

October 31, 2017: Official announcement that Michael Tilson Thomas is leaving at the end of the 2019-20 season
December 5, 2018: Official announcement of the next SFS music director
June, 2020: MTT's last performance as MD

Friday Photo

Doorway, 29 Avenue Rapp
Paris, October, 2018